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Got way too behind to even think of catching up with all the places I've been, which got discouraging. So, fresh start now that I'm freshly married and back in Vancouver. I have a couple of places from our honeymoon I'd like to review, but I'll get back into things with a Vancouver review.

Bo Laksa King is a great place to have laksa, said the internet! Hmm, ok, thought I, but what the heck is laksa? Oh well, it's near to where we're going to be anyway, let's try it!

They serve it to you in two bowls, as shown above. You squeeze the lime and pour the soup over the whole thing. That was the helpful instructions of the one-woman team running everything.

If you don't know what laksa is either, it's a Chinese-Malaysian specialty. Bo Laksa King's version is a rich, curry and coconut milk soup over shrimp, fish balls, tofu puffs, chicken, a hard-boiled egg, and your choice of rice vermicelli or yellow wheat noodles. We chose yellow wheat at the nice lady's recommendation. ($7.50)

Bo Laksa King has a nice combo deal where you can get a wrap with your laksa $2 off, so we got an Asian Beef Wrap:

Bo Laksa King does most of their business takeout, which they have to, because it's just a counter within a tiny grocery, and there's only three tiny tables outside. But I have to say that eating there, or at least nearby, might be worth it. The contrast between the hot beef and sauce, and the cool crisp vegetables, was lovely, and that's the kind of thing that just doesn't survive a trip home. ($4.50)

Our favorite part of the meal, however, was the Roti Canai ($5.99 for a large).

Once again, I would hate to have to take this very far before digging in. Hot, hot, hot and so stretchy and crispy and fresh and OMG, I want another order now. *salivates* Just by itself it would be worth the price, so to have that bowl of curry chicken dipping sauce is just... gah. Hungry now.

Name: Bo Laksa King
Location: 4910 Joyce St Vancouver BC
Prices: <$10 per person. No drinks, but it's in a grocery so you can buy a cold drink.
Service: Very, very friendly, but there was only one person there and she was doing EVERYTHING (taking orders, cooking, cleaning up, bringing you your order etc), so you must be patient!
Food: Amazing Chinese-Malaysian food at great prices. With a smile!
Recommended?: Yes, and please send me an order of roti canai while you're there?

Bo Laksa King on Urbanspoon
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It's difficult to say "great" or "awful" or "mediocre" about this place. The pizza was really great yet with a significant drawback: it was really, really, really oily. I don't just mean greasy to the taste. I mean looking at the pizza one could see little pools of pure oil on the surface. To eat the pizza, we had to pick up a slice, hold it up and let the oil drip off, pat the thing on both sides with clean paper towels, and then eat it.

It's a shame because the toppings were so good. On Tuesdays Pizza From Hell, the take-out portion of Hell's Kitchen, does a good deal: buy one, get one free pizza. Since the pizzas are ordinarily rather expensive, this is the perfect time to try them. We ordered a 15" Sergeant Pepperoni (fancy pepperoni and wild mushrooms with thyme) and a 15" Aphrodite (pesto, chicken, almonds, asiago cheese and sun-dried tomatoes). Each would ordinarily be $21.45, so we got the pair for that price.

I really don't know why they were so very very oily. I've never seen anything like it.

Once they were blotted with the paper towels, the taste was pretty good, but more prissy people than us would perhaps be sickened at the concept of needing to blot one's food, lol.

Name: Pizza From Hell (part of Hell's Kitchen)
Location: 2041 W. 4th Ave Vancouver BC (604) 736-4355
Prices: all their 15" pizzas are around $20
Service: The door was locked when The Boyfriend went to pick up the pizzas, and someone had to open it for him. Dunno what that was about.
Food: Good quality ingredients, nice combinations, but whence cometh the oil?
Recommended?: TBQH I have not been particularly impressed with the pizza joints in this city. You might as well go to Fresh Slice.

Hell's Kitchen on Urbanspoon
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This place just opened this month, so I decided to check it out for take-out with The Boyfriend. We went in on the second or third day after it opened, and I'll be honest: they didn't really have their crap together yet. This was most clearly shown in the woman working the cash register. She had to ask one of the chefs for help with ringing up practically everything.

I've misplaced the take-out menu, but we ordered a sushi sampler and a sashimi sampler; each was around $9. They also gave us two free bowls of miso soup, which was nice of them; it's probably because of them just opening, or maybe as apology for the cash register tie up, lol.

I was disappointed. Yes, the price was kinda low, but as you may be able to see in the picture, the maki weren't fully closed. The fish tasted fresh but not particularly high quality, if that makes sense? Like, there wasn't a rotten or old taste, but there wasn't the good taste of the fish that I want either.

I actually ended up eating those rice cakes you see there to fill my tummy, lol, and later I sauteed some of the sashimi fish for dinner.

The quantity and price were right, but I dunno, for me, with sushi, it's go big or go cooked. The miso soup was actually the best part of the meal. I finished all of that.

However I'm not going to label this one "not recommended" either because they were clearly getting their bearings.

Name: Sushi E
Location: 2328 Cambie Street Vancouver, BC V5Z (604) 873-2000
Prices: $5-15/person, I would say.
Service: Friendly but not yet well-organized.
Food: In a word, bland. The miso was pretty nice though.
Recommended?: Based on my one experience, no, but it's early days yet.

Sushi E on Urbanspoon
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My qualifiers this evening were 1) take-out available and 2) somewhere on the way from my apartment to my boyfriend's job. AKA Kits and South Cambie in general.

My first thought was sandwiches; then I considered, in turn, pad thai, Chinese, donairs, and tonkatsu. At some point in my Googling and browsing I came across Indian Oven, whose website advertised that all take-out orders receive a 10% discount. (Nota Bene, the printed menus in the restaurant itself say 5%, but the discount given on my bill was clearly 10%, so apparently the discount has been increased.) The website also claimed (with quotes from local newspaper reviews to back them up) that they had the best butter chicken in the city.

I love butter chicken, so I called in for a take out order and in about 15 minutes I was walking out of there with a paper bag containing butter chicken (12.95), palak paneer (10.95), and naan (1.75).

Nota bene again, the $1.75 naan is for one naan, a large piece of naan granted, but you may want to consider getting more than one if you like naan as much as me and The Boyfriend.

I don't have any pictures, but take-away isn't particularly photogenic in these cases. Picture one of the pie-tin take-away containers containing orange-red sauce and white lumps, and another containing green sauce and white cubes, and you've got the gist of it.

The palak paneer was competent but the butter chicken was, indeed, truly outstanding. In fact The Boyfriend and I kept accusing each other of trying to eat all of it, lol. The best thing I can say about it is that it was assertive yet balanced. The creamy sweetness of the dairy was the field in which the kicky spices frolicked, if I can be metaphorical for a moment. And of course there's nothing worse than having a great sauce dumped over dry or tough meat, and the chicken didn't disappoint. It was very tender.

Indian Oven, as the name suggests, also is known for its tandoori, so that'll be something to try next time. I would skip the palak paneer; I've had it done better elsewhere in Vancouver. It wasn't bad, but perhaps it was outshone by the butter chicken.

Name: Indian Oven
Location: 2006 West 4th Ave Vancouver, BC. V6Z 1N9 (604) 730-5069
Prices: $10-20/entree, 10% discount on take-out
Service: I made a mistake when I was ordering on the phone and ordered saag chicken instead of butter chicken. The woman taking my order inquired if I was sure I wanted two spinach dishes, at which point I realized my mistake, so that was perceptive of her. In addition, the food was ready within the promised 15 minutes.
Food: Really good, especially the butter chicken, which is deservedly famous.
Recommended?: The place looked pretty empty when I came in to pick up, so I hope that they were doing a lot of take-out orders and/or were just having a slow night. If not, go here, because they deserve to stay in business.

Indian Oven on Urbanspoon
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After the disappointing experience we had at Migz, The Boyfriend and I were definitely excited to return to Memphis Blues for REAL barbecue on the 4th of July holiday. On our previous trip we had sampled their BBQ poutine (so WRONG yet so RIGHT) as well as their brisket and ribs.

As a cartoon by Canadian Kate Beaton has it, being an American is all about fighting for freedom, eating some barbecues, and bayoneting British men. One out of three isn't bad, I guess? But, only one out of three of us were American, because my roommate joined us. I attribute the failure to wreak revolution and murder Englishmen to them.

Memphis Blues has room to sit down, but you order at the front. We ordered a pitcher of beer ($12.95) and the Memphis Feast ($39.95) for all three of us. The Memphis Feast contains portions of every kind of meat plus all the "fixins": ribs, rib ends, half a chicken, brisket, pulled pork, sausage, baked beans, coleslaw, fries, and potato salad.

Meat meat meat. Meat? Meat. Meat meat, meat meat meat meat. MEAT.


I'll rank the meats in order of how much I liked them, with the understanding that the "least" was still miles ahead of Migz. I'll DQ the sausage because I liked it but it's not my favorite kind of sausage so I don't really know how to judge it--it was kind of like summer sausage style, a little sweet. Least was the ribs. They were basically BBQ sauce delivery mechanisms. Which is fine, because their BBQ sauce is awesome, but still. The chicken next, okay on its own, and very tender, but still primarily a BBQ sauce delivery system. When we get to the pulled pork, we're talking heaven. As good as anything I ever had in the states. The best of all is the brisket. Practically melt in your mouth tender, and with a light seasoning that suited it so well I actually ate it without the sauce.

As far as the other sides go, I'm very picky about my potato salad, and I don't like coleslaw, so I skipped those, but the other two gave them a thumbs up, and I liked the beans very much.

We also decided to get some collard greens because I hadn't had them for a while and while, yes, MEAT MEAT MEAT is happy times, some greens are nice too; plus, my roommate and The Boyfriend had never tried them. I give the greens a "meh". I felt they were kind of small for what we paid ($3.95) and spiced much too heavily. Collard greens are not a prissy kind of plant, they have a very assertive flavor, and the answer is not to smother them with pepper. In other words, they didn't make them like my mommy does. ;) She's from Maryland, not Tennessee, so maybe they're following a different style of collard recipe, but to me it just felt wrong. The Boyfriend actually ate most of it.

Here's what the table looked like about the time we all decided we were full:

Yep. Even with three of us, there were still leftovers. If you want to bring a larger group, Memphis Blues also has an Elvis Platter and a Priscilla Platter with even more meat. We were planning on packing this up and heading out, until I idly commented that I wondered if their pecan pie was any good, and The Boyfriend said he'd never had it. This had to change, natch.

Pecan pie is my mother's favorite pie, and I have high standards for it, and this slice fit it perfectly. Even with how full we were, we finished it. The caramel bourbon sauce was a great match, and tasted like it would be amazing poured warm over ice cream.

And when we were done, we shed a tear for liberty.

Name: Memphis Blues
Location: has several locations; we were at the one at 1465 West Broadway Ave Vancouver, B.C. V6H 1H6 (604) 738.6806
Prices: Prices are not cheap (considering it's really more a take-out place with seats than a sit-down restaurant) but worth it. $7-$10 for appetizers, ~$8 for sandwiches, $11-20 for individual meals. Bring a huge gang and attack one of their larger platters, or order their picnic pack to take out--these will all average about $13/person or so.
Service: Order at the front, and if you are dining in they will bring it to the table.
Food: Mouth-watering slow-cooked Southern BBQ and sides.
Recommended?: I absolutely adored it. If you are not a vegetarian, try this place.

Memphis Blues Barbeque House (Broadway) on Urbanspoon
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I had somewhat of a rotten day on Friday, so the boyfriend decided to cheer me up with a nice long walk to Granville Island, along with some fish and chips.

I'm afraid I don't have any pictures of the actual food, as I remembered that I was supposed to be taking pictures just as the waitress took away our empty plates! ^_^;;; So I just grabbed a shot of the shop itself.

After we ordered our Granville Island beer, I asked my boyfriend, "So, is Granville Island Brewing Company actually on Granville Island?" He pointed over my shoulder, to the warehouse building across the street with GRANVILLE ISLAND BREWING emblazoned on the side. So I guess you can really get fresh beer here. GIB's motto "It's good to be here," always makes me hum that old hymn "'Tis Good, Lord, To Be Here", though.

I've been to two fish and chip places in Vancouver so far, and both of them serve salmon and chips, which feels vaguely rebellious. I actually ordered the salmon both times, since it's my favorite kind of fish, and it's available pretty cheaply in BC.

My two-piece salmon came with coleslaw, chips and tartar sauce for $13.50. Each piece of salmon was a bit bigger than the palm of my hand, but even so I only finished one piece (I ordered two because I knew my boyfriend was hungry). The batter was light and flaky flour-based, no breadcrumbs. The table provided malt and white vinegar and ketchup. Gordon got two-piece halibut and chips for $14.50 and enjoyed it. They also sell cod, which is cheaper than either salmon or halibut.

We also got a bowl of clam chowder, which was delicious--miles better than canned Campbell's, that's for sure! I particularly liked the seasoning.

In addition to fish and chips, Tony's also sells raw and pan-fried oysters, steamed clams and mussels, sauteed salmon and halibut filets, and a variety of fish burgers. There's even a bananas foster dessert, although at $7.25 it seemed a little pricey.

There was only one waitress for the whole place (and at one point the place was full) yet she never seemed overwhelmed or frazzled. We could watch everything she did and she was very efficient in her movements, never making any wasted trips. It felt like the service we got was just as fast and attentive as if we had been the only ones there. After everyone else cleared out, we chatted with her for a bit about the difficulties in restaurants obtaining a license. (Tony's is licensed for beer and wine, but not spirits.)

It seemed like a number of the people around us were on their way to see a play. Granville Island has a number of theaters, and I think Tony's would be a good choice for such a night-out, because you can get your order quickly.

I liked Tony's but I think I preferred the value and taste of the fish and chips I had in Deep Cove (at the inventively named Deep Cove Fish and Chips), even though that chip shop was even less authentic, with its breadcrumb batter and seasoning.

Name: Tony's Fish and Oyster Cafe
Location: 1511 Anderson Street Vancouver BC V6H 3R5 604 683 7127
Prices: $10-20
Service: Very professional. The single waitress on duty did an amazing job and made it look easy.
Food: All seafood, all the time. Indulge yourself with fish and chips, or choose a more healthy filet and rice pilaf.
Recommended?: It was pretty good, yeah. :)

Tony's Fish & Oyster Cafe on Urbanspoon
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Vancouver is 17% Chinese. Its nearby suburb of Richmond is something like 40% Chinese (59% immigrant, and the source says that the majority are from Hong Kong, Taiwan and China). So you can get Chinese food in pretty much the same variety and quality that you would in Chinese-speaking countries.

Connie's Cook House (好味店) pretty much rocks it old school. Though Connie herself is Cantonese, the menu offers a staggering variety of dishes, from Sichuan Bean Curd (四川薑汁豆腐) to Shanghai Thick Noodles (上海粗麵). Everything you would expect at a North American Chinese restaurant is there too: hot and sour soup, wonton soup, General Tso's chicken, but alas, not my favorite inauthentic "Chinese" dish, crab rangoon. Crab rangoon cured me of my snobbery when I was a young Sinophile. When I was about 16, 17, I was very bratty about "OMG authentic Chinese food ONLY and if you don't eat it with chopsticks then GO HOME." Then I realized that deep fried wontons filled with cream cheese and fake crab meat is too delicious to give up. So I became a lot more relaxed, which was good for me.

I digress! Back to Connie's! I have been here twice, both times for lunch. Connie's has a very reasonably priced lunch menu. $6.50 for one of a variety of main courses, served with rice, a cup of wonton or hot and sour soup, and a hot pot of tea. Can't beat that with a stick.

I really like Chinese-style chicken broth so I always finish all of my wonton soup. Connie's is very good, not salty. The hot and sour soup has a nice amount of bean curd.

On the trip where I took pictures, I had vegetable fried rice (什蔡炒飯). A sizeable portion, done competently. Not greasy at all. The vegetables included were carrots, corn, peas, broccoli and mushrooms. Tasty, but nothing to write and tell mother about. It actually tasted a lot like the fried rice I make myself.

Gordon had Sichuan Chicken with Green Beans (四川豆仔雞), and his was a lot more special. The sauce had a kicky hot mustard and vinegar flavor, the green beans had just the right texture, and the chicken was tender.

On our previous trip I had that Cantonese staple, beef chow fun (乾炒牛河). I can never make shahe noodles myself (they stick to the wok or break or burn!), so I like getting it when I go out. Connie's does it well. Gordon had the House Special Chicken and liked it a lot. I'm afraid I can't remember what was in it though. XD I remember it was spicy.

We've had the same waitress both times and she's very friendly and attentive. She actually recommended me some Taiwanese restaurants when I mentioned that that I loved Taiwanese food. Because of her, we discovered No 1 Beef Noodle House in Burnaby, which sells my favorite Taiwanese desserts! A place that recommends their competitors??? That's rare these days!

Connie herself makes frequent appearances, and asks how everything is.

Connie's Cook House is licensed. Delivery is free after 5pm ($20 minimum), but there is a 10% discount on pick-up orders. Connie's does not use MSG. Lunch specials are served from 11:30 until 4pm.

Name: Connie's Cook House
Location: 2135 W 4th Ave Vancouver, BC V6K (604) 484-6289
Prices: lunch for $6.50; dinner prices from $10-15
Service: Very concerned that every guest is having a good time.
Food: Large portions of tasty and ungreasy North American Chinese food. There are options for the fans of more or less authentic Chinese food.
Recommended?: This is a great kind of every day place, especially for lunch. On those terms, I recommend it. :)

Connie's Cookhouse on Urbanspoon


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